Pardon Me While I Get Up on My Soap Box

We weathered (HA) the Storm of the Century just fine here in Aberdeen.  We didn’t even lose power.  I attribute that to the fact that we spent the entire day before planning for the storm by taking everything out of our basement in preparation for the flooding that might occur if we lost power.  The lights didn’t even flicker.

My heart goes out to those who lost so much in the storm.  Wide spread devastation breaks my heart.  But I have a bone to pick with the national news that has covered the storm.  Devastation was NOT limited to New Jersey and New York.  Parts of Delaware, Maryland and the Eastern Shore of Virginia were deeply affected by this storm.  Entire communities on the Eastern Shore of VA were wiped out.  W-I-P-E-D out.  As in, there no more.  As in gone.  The beach at Assateague Island – gone.  I’m so saddened by this.  That was MY beach.  That was the beach where I took my grandkids.  Where I sat with my sister for hours watching the waves.  Where we walked and picked up sea shells.  Where we could watch the ponies.  It’s gone.  I’m not just talking about a board walk or stores – I mean the BEACH is gone.  Washed away.

The entire island of Chincoteague was under water.  Multiple businesses have been affected.  Saxis?  devastated.  Guard Beach?  Gone.  Nothing but a bar of rocks in Atlantic now.  Thousands of men dedicated to working the water their entire lives have been devastated by this storm – their boats ruined, their fishing gear and crab traps washed to sea.  Elderly were trapped in their homes and were not saved.  And no help from the federal government.  I’m sickened and saddened by what has happened to those close to me.

My family comes from the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  We have a vacation home there.  I have family there.  I have friends there.  And I’m screaming because no one is coming to help them.  But you know what, they are banding together as a community – activating the word through the wonder that is social media, through word of mouth, and through close-knit communities.  They are pulling together to help themselves.  People are donating time, money, equipment, physical labor, clothing, food – you name it, they need it.  And this makes my heart smile.

We Eastern Shormen have always been a hardy bunch.  People have lived on the Eastern Shore of VA since the 1600s.  I know, because I trace my family back that far.  You can’t wipe us out that easily.

It will come back.  Stronger this time.  You can’t put a shoreman down.

And just maybe, when you are contemplating having some oysters on the half shell for your holiday noms, they might be a hell of a lot harder to find this year.  Because the people of the Shore are too busy putting their lives back together by themselves.

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I Supported Small Business Saturday…But I May Not Be Asked To Come Back!!

So, since my hubby is off shooting at Bambi, the girls and I had a girls day in Havre de Grace to support Small Business Saturday.

Let me tell you, we had the Best. Day. Ever.  But we don’t know how to act in public.  So we may not be allowed back…LOL

First, we hit up the Cannery in Havre de Grace which is full of antique dealers.  OMG, we laughed so hard at some of the things we saw.  Aside from some of the most gorgeous antique pieces of furniture, there was some stuff that just made you go, “ummmm…”  Of course, we had to model some of them…Like this freaky angel…

Or this wrap – um, I’m sorry, but this is just freaky – it STILL had the paw pads on it…

My girlfriend Karen found this awesome hat…

And seriously, who can resist a little J. Giles Band with Magic Dick…

After the Cannery, we headed over to the Rampant Lion – a place where local artists can display their crafts.  We were in search of The Susquehannah Knitting Company – and OMG did we find her.  Best. Yarn. EVER.  I got some gorgeous chunky yarn that I’m going to use to make some handwarmers, and Karen got the same yarn and some gorgeous sock yarn.  We also met a woman that wraps cheerios in silver and fires them in her kiln to make silver cheerio beads.  Gorgeous.

From there, we headed over to Chiparellis for lunch.  Besto Pesto Penne with chicken.  NOM.

After lunch, we headed over to Andy and Bill’s.  They have a great antique store, but they are going out of business and everything was 50% off or more.  Karen and Heather and I totally couldn’t act like grown ups in there, but honestly, who can when the first thing you see is a skull wearing a sequinned cap?

And then we saw a stained glass image of Jesus.  Now, not to be blasphemous or anything, but I didn’t know Jesus was so ripped…he picks things up and puts them down…

We were laughing so hard, people actually came upstairs to see what we were having so much fun with.

And then we saw this….I don’t even know what this is, but honestly?  It looks rather phalic, don’t you think?

We ended our day at Jana’s Java laughing hysterically over coffee and wondering why we don’t spend more time together.

I love my girlfriends!

 

Sweet Potato Pie and Shut My Mouth

Oh, it’s Thanksgiving Week.  I love Thanksgiving.  Because this former fat girl still loves to eat.  NOM NOM NOM.

This year, it’s only going to be my husband and myself.  The rest of our family has plans, and to tell you the truth, I’m actually kind of happy it will just be Bob and I.  I don’t get nearly enough time with him, and the thought of spending the day with him alone with nothing but good food and football doesn’t hurt my feelings at all.

I have been thinking about our Thanksgiving meal for weeks.  We’re having turkey, and stuffing, and mashed potatos and corn (um, hello carbs, I’m your bitch).  I’m also baking my husband a pecan pie, and making homemade bread.  This year I’m attempting my own cranberry orange relish, and making myself a sugar free sweet potato pie.  Luckily I remembered to take the turkey out of the freezer today so I don’t have turkey popsicles on Thursday.

And then we shall watch football.

My husband leaves Friday morning to go on his annual hunting trip.  I have plans to do nothing at all.  Just me and my dog on Friday (I am NOT a Black Friday shopper).  Saturday, I’m  having a girls day with some friends.  We’re going antiquing, and to lunch, and then we’re watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (or Elf…) and gossiping.  Because yes, women do that.

So, I bid you all good eating this week.  Enjoy your family and friends.  Enjoy your food.  And give thanks, for everything you have and everything you hold dear.

Let the holidays begin.

 

OH – and just a quick update to my previous post – it appears I have a vit. D deficiency.  They’ve upped my D supplement and if that doesn’t work, they’ll be adding in Zoloft.  Hopefully it will get me over the hump to actually ENJOY my holidays.

I’m Here

I’ve been so swamped that the internets have become a bit of a “wow I’d really like to get back to that soon” idea that hasn’t really materialized.

So, some quick bits…

Mia is doing great.  She’s a great dog, and so well trained, that it’s hard for me to believe someone could dump her.  It’s apparent from her behavior that she was dumped – she’s skittish about going to the park – doesn’t want to get out of the car until she’s absolutely sure we aren’t going to leave her there.  She’s underweight and has patches of skin that are healing but we can tell where she dug at them with her nails or teeth.  But she’s sweet, and loyal and loving.  She knows a bunch of commands, loves to play with toys, is very good with the kitties, and loves me to bits and pieces.  I just can’t wait to fatten her up a bit.

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Work is very busy and is kicking my butt.  I once again owe Bluz cookies for fixing something for me yesterday.  He’s requested chocolate chip.  I’ll try for them soon.  I’m also on a committee here to make the work place a happy happy joy joy place to work when it’s more like Office Space.  Sigh.   I may need to take my printer out to a field to beat it.

Winter sucks and I’m glad it’s almost gone.  My skin is so dry you could use it for sandpaper and my fingers are splitting.  I need spring.  Seriously.

We’re going to see my Mom this weekend.  We’re taking Mia to meet her gramma.  I have a feeling trips to my mom will be slightly less frequent now that gas costs are now priced at:

Dear lord let me hit the lottery.

In other news, I finally got around to watching America’s Next Greatest Restaurant.  The whole reason I watched it at all was for this man:

Curtis Stone, you are made of win, and awesomesauce.  And hawtness.  You are now on my list of five.  As a result of watching the show, though, I’m now having a major Chipotle craving.  NOM

Happy New Year All!

I hope you had a nice helping of whatever goodluck food you require for the new year – we had black eyed peas here, and they were GOOOOOD!

We had some great times this holiday and I’ll be posting some pictures very soon.

Just a reminder, visit my new 365 days of photos blog here!

Dedicated to Our Troops

 I was listening to an old Kraft Music Hall Radio program on my XM Radio this evening from December 24, 1942.  In it, one of the sponsors read a letter J.L. Kraft had written to his employees at  Christmastime.  The letter stirred me, and I felt its relevance still today.

During World Wars 1 and 2, American families who had a son in the wars would hand a service flag in their window.  I’m admittedly uneducated about service flags (which we can liken now to our yellow ribbons) so I naturally googled it.  Here is the answer I got:

“The Service Flag is an official banner authorized by the Department of Defense for display by families who have members serving in the Armed Forces during any period of war or hostilities the United States may be engaged in for the duration of such hostilities.”  This was from USFlag.org.

I was so stirred by the letter and its relevance today, that I found the radio program this evening on Youtube and copied it down.  Here is the text, and I’d like to dedicate it now to my friends and family who have served this country, continue to serve, and my friends and family who have dear ones serving now in Afghanastan, Iraq and around the world.

“To my friends,

Each weekday morning, as I walk into the Chicago office, the first sight that greets my eyes is our great service flag  – a flag whose stars are ever growing in number.  More than eight hundred blue stars are there, emblazoned on a white field in this December of 1942.  Almost every morning there are a few more added to the luster of the flag.  On Sunday mornings, when I go into my home church, I am greeted by another service flag with more than two hundred represented there.

Walking along the city streets wherever I go, I see more and more windows lighted with a glory that was never there before.  As I see the service flags which mean so much to us personally, I’m reminded that the meaning of each star is two-fold.  Each service flag in a window means not alone that there is a member absent from that family circlej, but is a symbol that the enduring light of home still shines for him, and that it shall not be extinguished.  That it is for his home and the multitude of homes that make up the United States of America that he fights around the globe today.

This Christmastime, when we turn our thoughts and hearts to our boys so far away and their thoughts are warm and strong enough to reach around the Earth and back to us, the light of this sacred birthday is a lamp unto our feet, bringing us all home in thought, and love, and faith and rekindled devotion.  The stars on our service flags take their light from a holy star, that one which lead the wisemen of old.

May the abiding glory of Christmastime be upon you and upon yours where ever they may be.  May it be our constant prayer that before another Christmas dawn shall break, the everylasting light may have overcome the darkness of the Earth.

Sincerely,

J.L. Kraft”

Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, please please please remember to pray for the safety and well being of our troops overseas.  Thank a soldier.  Hug a soldier if you can and remember that for every service member who is within your reach, there is another separated from family and home and all they love this holiday season.

A sincere thank you to all who serve.  May this holiday find you safe, warm and with family and friends.

A Celebration of Life

This weekend, I had the honor of attending the memorial service for my friend Drew’s beautiful wife, Donna.  It was held at my home church in Delaware, and many of the people I had grown up with were there (Delaware is a small place – if you grew up in Delaware you are either related to or KNOW someone who is related to someone else, and everyone knows everyone).  It was pleasant to get to see old friends even if I didn’t have the time to say hello to them.  It was most pleasant to see Drew again – the wonderful man he’s become.

I was very emotionally moved by Donna’s service – so much so that it has taken me a day or two to compose my thoughts about the service.  Drew has posted the eulogies that were read in Donna’s honor on her Caring Bridge site and even this morning, after reading them again, I tear up. 

I was not close to Donna.  I was friends with Drew through the Wesley Foundation, and Drew and Donna were a package deal, but she was older and already working when Drew and I met, so though she attended many functions with him, Drew was the person I got to know and love.

Drew has a kind heart, and a generous nature that you desire out of everyone you meet.  He is genuine and kind, funny and playful, and no matter what, he makes YOU feel good.  Even as I hugged him on Sunday when I saw him in the lobby of the church, he made me feel good.  Drew is that kind of person that just makes you feel good to be around.  If only there were more people like that on this earth.

I went to Donna’s service for Drew.  I felt I needed to go.  I did not expect to get so emotional, but it quite honestly brought back memories of my sister’s memorial service 10 years ago.  But what really truly moved me the most was the outpouring of love for both Donna and Drew and their son Josiah that you could feel the moment you entered the sanctuary.  At what should be such a horrible time, Donna’s memory was celebrated with laughter, and with song.

Can you measure the prosperity of your life with the outpouring of love you received at your funeral?  If so, Donna’s Memorial Service showed that she was most definitely loved to the moon and back.

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